Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and its partners have signed an amendment to their Production Sharing Agreement with Sonatrach, the national oil company of Algeria, that will enable Anadarko to resume exploration of three blocks, Anadarko said in a statement.
The amendment was signed in Hassi Messaoud by Robert J. Allison, Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Anadarko, and by Chakib Khelil, minister of energy and mines and chairman and chief executive officer of Sonatrach.
Anadarko's partners in this new exploration venture are Lasmo Oil (Algeria) Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Eni S.P.A., and Maersk Olie, Algeriet AS, each holding a 25 percent interest, while Anadarko, holds 50 percent of the interest.
The exploration phase of Anadarko's original production sharing agreement in Algeria ended in 1998, said the statement.
As part of that initial exploration program, Anadarko drilled 20 exploratory wells, with a 70 percent success rate.
This new agreement will enable Anadarko and its partners to resume exploration in these three blocks in areas outside of the exploitation license boundaries that encompass the previous 12 discoveries made by the Sonatrach/Anadarko association.
"This amendment will allow our Algerian exploration team to build on the knowledge gathered over the last 15 years," Allison said. "These are the same blocks we began to explore in 1989, and we know a great deal about this area. We already have many ideas to investigate on these blocks, and with additional seismic, we expect to identify even more," Allison added.
Under the terms of the three-phase exploration program, Anadarko and its partners will spend a minimum of US$55 million. During the first five years, 400 square km of 3D seismic and 1,100 km of 2D seismic will be shot and processed; the results of previous seismic surveys will be reprocessed; and six exploration wells will be drilled. Seismic acquisition is expected to begin this year, and exploration drilling will likely begin next year. Should the sixth and seventh year options be exercised, an additional exploration well will be drilled in each year.
Anadarko, Lasmo, and Maersk will finance 100% of the exploration investment; Sonatrach will participate 51% in the development and exploitation phases of any discoveries. The development of any discovery can make use of existing facilities and infrastructure, reducing development costs and potentially accelerating first oil production – Albawaba.com
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